From The Cradle To The Grave
To listen to radio, one might surmise country music has been castrated, watered-down to that insipid lowest common denominator. But as nearly any thinking person knows, mainstream radio sucks Midas mufflers, and just like rock& roll did in the late 1970s (those "punks" or "new wavers"), country has its underground scene, partisans working beneath the radar. One such is Dale Watson, whose big, smooth, worldly baritone and earthy, direct songwriting puts him in the continuum of Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard. This is the real, classic stuff, but there's nothing "retro" about Cradle-he lives in the same world as you 'n' me, but uses stripped down, crackling honky-tonk as a template. The only thing amiss with Cradle is it's too short.